ISLAMABAD: Pakistan asked the United States on Sunday to share “actionable intelligence” about Al-Qaeda's new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and other high value targets.
The request from the military came after US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said before his arrival in Kabul on Saturday Washington wanted to see Pakistan go after al-Zawahiri, who is thought to be in the northwestern tribal areas.
“We expect the US intelligence establishment to share available information and actionable intelligence regarding al-Zawahari,” the military said in a statement in Islamabad.
It added that sharing information about al-Zawahiri and other high value targets would “enable the Pakistan army to carry out targeted operations”.
“The Pakistan army is already carrying out intense operations against Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, who are a threat to security of our country and people,” the statement said, adding that terrorist leaders were already being hunted.
Former CIA chief Panetta, who replaced Robert Gates as defence chief on July 1, also pushed Pakistan to do more to help in the fight against Al-Qaeda, amid dismal relations between the US and its uneasy ally in the war on terror.
He said since the May night raid by US forces in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden, 10-20 key Al-Qaeda targets had been identified between Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and north Africa.
He added that al-Zawahiri was one those “we would like to see the Pakistanis target”.
US-led coalition forces have been fighting a Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan since their invasion in late 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks orchestrated by bin Laden.
US President Barack Obama has announced that 10,000 US forces will leave Afghanistan this year and another 23,000 by the end of September in 2012, ahead of a full withdrawal of foreign forces in 2014.